The Most Interesting Comics of the Week

Rich Barrett

Every Wednesday, I write about the most interesting new comics hitting comic shops, bookstores, Comixology, Kickstarter, and the web. These are not necessarily reviews (though sometimes they are) but more pointing out noteworthy new comics that you may want to seek out. Feel free to comment below if there's a comic you've read recently that you want to talk about or an upcoming comic that you'd like me to consider highlighting.

1. Original Sin #1

Written by Jason Aaron; art by Mike Deodato; colors by Frank Martin
Marvel Comics

Someone has killed the Watcher and now every dark secret he knew about the Marvel Universe is out there.

It’s event week as both Marvel and DC are launching two major mini-series today that promise shocking revelations which will “forever” change their respective universes.

Original Sin is an eight-issue series that delves into some deep dark secrets lurking at the heart of the Marvel Universe. It begins simply enough with a murder, except it’s a pretty big murder. The Watcher, the bald demi-god who has been watching over mankind from the very beginning (or at least since his first appearance back in Fantastic Four #13 in 1963) is the victim and apparently everything that he has ever seen has been stolen with his eyes.

The original Nick Fury comes out of retirement to find the culprits and the book ties into pretty much every Marvel comic out there. In these books, expect to find some sort of payoff to the tagline of the promotional teaser: “Original Sin: Everyone Has One.”

From the moment this series was announced, some obvious comparisons have been made to DC’s Identity Crisis and Watchmen, but writer Jason Aaron, known for his crime-centric comics like Scalped and the newly released Southern Bastards, is simply following an age-old noir trope of an investigator trying to solve a murder and uncovering a conspiracy that is too big to handle. For those who enjoy a little synergy between comics and movies, the main players in this series will include future film stars like Ant Man, Dr. Strange, and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Here’s a preview.


2. New 52: Future’s End #1

Written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jeff Lemire; art by Patrick Zircher
DC Comics

A new weekly series set 5 years in the future, featuring the DC Universe debut of Batman Beyond.

DC, in many ways, is going back to the kinds of things that have worked well for them in the past: a weekly event series and a brief jump into the future to set up a mystery that asks, “How did things get this bad?"

In New 52: Future’s End, we get a weekly glimpse into a bleak future where everyone is recovering from a war with an alternate Earth, only to suddenly get attacked once again by some new invading force. This book will focus primarily on Terry McGinnis, a.k.a. Batman Beyond (the future Batman from the animated series of the same name), and Grifter (originally from the Wildstorm line of comics which was folded into DC proper a few years back), among others. Oh yeah, and a member of the Justice League is going to die.

This is one of three weekly series DC is rolling out this year, using them to replace some recently cancelled monthly books in their lineup. They have assembled a number of their star writers, each familiar with various aspects of the DC Universe, to collaborate and juggle the multiple plot threads that will weave through the nearly year-long mini-series. In addition, there will be a stable of artists taking turns throughout the series.

Both Marvel’s Original Sin and DC’s Future’s End have released “zero issues” (a prequel issue numbered with a “0”) in the past couple of weeks, but zero issues are industry code for “you don’t need to read this to know what’s going on" so don't even worry about them.

You can read a preview of Future's End #1 here.


3. Image Comics Humble Bundle

If you've ever been curious to try out some of Image Comics' best titles, this is the week to do it.

If you’re not already an avid reader of Image Comics books but have been curious to try some, there’s never been a better time than this week. Through the digital sale site Humble Bundle, Image is giving you the opportunity to get up to 12 of their top books for any price you feel like paying. You can pay as little as a dollar to get 4 of the books but need to pay over $10 to get the next 6 and more than $15 to get the whole set of 12. That’s still nothing, and as an added bonus, proceeds go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit dedicated to aiding the first amendment rights of comic book creators and retailers.

The books being offered here are all outstanding, from highly acclaimed and top selling phenomena like The Walking Dead (vols. 1 and 20 are available here) and Saga (vols. 1 and 2), to newer books like Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s future sci-fi epic East of West and Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s dystopian near-future drama Lazarus. Image is currently at the top of their game, putting out some of the best genre comics on the market and they’re all "creator-owned."

There is a week to go on this offer so jump on it now.


4. The Complete Peanuts 1950 - 1952 (Vol. 1) - Paperback Edition

By Charles Schultz

Fantagraphics begins releasing their bestselling and much loved Peanuts archives in affordable softcover volumes.

When Fantagraphics began their decade-long (and counting) project of releasing the entirety of Charles Schulz’ classic Peanuts comics in beautifully designed hardcover archives back in 2004, they sparked a whole cottage industry for publishing coffee table and library-friendly definitive collections of old newspaper comic strips. While they still have a few more hardbound volumes to release before they complete the project (volume 21, which begins collecting strips from the 1990s, also comes out this week), they’re now starting back at the beginning by releasing new lower-priced softcover editions.

Volume one collects the very first Peanuts strips from 1950 through 1952. We get to see Schultz figuring out what he wanted to do with this strip and how he wanted these characters to look and interact. Some of the kids, like Linus, Schroeder, and Lucy, start out as infants before Schultz decides to make them the same age as everybody else. There is some biographical material included as well as an introduction by Garrison Keillor.

Find out more here.